Who Wants It Most? PDC Stars Hungry For NY Crown

The 2022 bet365 US Darts Masters begins in New York on Friday, as the sport’s biggest names compete at the iconic Madison Square Garden venue for the first time.

The fourth staging of the tournament takes place at the Hulu Theater from June 3-4, with 16 players competing for £60,000 in prize money and the opening World Series title of 2022.

World Champion Peter Wright headlines the star-studded field, which also includes seven-time TV title winner Gerwyn Price, three-time World Champion Michael van Gerwen and history-maker Fallon Sherrock.

Wright takes on American number one Danny Baggish in a mouth-watering opening round tie, and the world number one is determined to send out a statement in the Big Apple.

“To be in New York and playing here is immense. I have just seen my picture up on the giant LED screen on the ceiling – it is pretty crazy!” Wright admitted.

“Obviously two years ago I missed out on going to these amazing places, but we’re back on tour and it’s going to be great.

“We all want to win this trophy, but I want to win it more and show why I am number one in the world and why I’m World Champion.”

Michael Van Gerwen plays darts ahead of the PDC Darts Championships at the Hulu Theater on June 3-4, 2022. (Ed Mulholland/Matchroom.)

In another intriguing tie, 2017 winner Van Gerwen begins his bid for a sixth title of the campaign against Dutch-born American Jules van Dongen.

Van Gerwen has been an ever-present on the World Series circuit since its inception in 2013, and despite his impending arm surgery, the Dutchman is in buoyant mood ahead of this weekend’s showpiece.

“I think it is an honour for every dart player to play in this phenomenal venue,” said Van Gerwen, a four-time World Series of Darts Finals winner.

“Everyone who knows their sport knows that this is one of the biggest sporting venues in the world and I think that is good for darts globally – it can take it to the next level.

“I’m looking forward to playing against Jules. I know what he is capable of. I know he is going to put himself under pressure especially as an American, as he’s probably got a few fans coming over.

“It would mean the world to me [to win the event]. Everyone knows when we go to a new continent or a new place, whether it is Dubai or Las Vegas – I always want to win.”

The draw, made in New York’s famous Times Square on Wednesday, has also pitted trailblazer Sherrock against American qualifier Leonard Gates.

Sherrock rose to stardom courtesy of her 2020 World Championship exploits, before reaffirming her credentials by reaching last year’s Nordic Darts Masters final, followed by a run to the quarter-finals at November’s Grand Slam of Darts.

The 27-year-old is aiming to create another slice of history in New York, but insists she is soaking up the entire experience.

“I have never been to New York before. It’s my first time in America and it’s been pretty cool so far. There is so much to see and do in New York, it’s an amazing place,” said Sherrock.

“I’m really excited for the event too. I’ve waited a long time to get here and it’s brilliant to finally be in New York.

“My first aim is just to win on Friday night and hopefully set the ball rolling.”

Elsewhere, world number two Price will play Canadian veteran David Cameron for a place in the last eight, while Michael Smith aims to continue his prolific form against big-stage debutant Doug Boehm.

Canadian World Cup partners Jeff Smith and Matt Campbell face James Wade and Gary Anderson respectively, with Premier League champion Jonny Clayton up against emerging American ace Danny Lauby.

The opening round takes place on Friday June 3, before the tournament concludes with the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final on a blockbuster evening session on Saturday June 4.

In addition, the bet365 North American Championship takes place on Saturday afternoon, as the eight North American challengers compete for the coveted title and a place in this year’s Cazoo World Darts Championship.

Former winners Baggish and Smith headline the field, with the latter eyeing a spot in a third consecutive North American Championship final.

Smith scooped the 2018 title before succumbing to Baggish in the 2019 showpiece, and the pair are joined in New York by fellow PDC Tour Card holders Campbell and van Dongen.

The four CDC qualifiers are led by Cameron, making his third appearance in the event, alongside two-time World Championship participant Lauby and debutants Gates & Boehm.

The bet365 US Darts Masters will be broadcast live through DAZN in the US and Canada, as well as in various other worldwide territories and exclusively in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Other live global coverage will be broadcast through Viaplay in various territories including the Netherlands, as well as via PDCTV in all countries outside Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

PDCTV Subscription options include a £25 Summer Pass which includes live coverage of all six global World Series of Darts events in June and August through video.pdc.tv/subscribe.

bet365 US Darts Masters
Draw Bracket
(1) Peter Wright v Danny Baggish
Fallon Sherrock v Leonard Gates
(4) Michael Smith v Doug Boehm
Gary Anderson v Matt Campbell
(2) Gerwyn Price v David Cameron
Jonny Clayton v Danny Lauby
(3) Michael van Gerwen v Jules van Dongen
James Wade v Jeff Smith

Schedule of Play
Friday June 3
Evening Session (1900 EST)
bet365 US Darts Masters
First Round
Michael Smith v Doug Boehm
James Wade v Jeff Smith
Gary Anderson v Matt Campbell
Fallon Sherrock v Leonard Gates
Peter Wright v Danny Baggish
Michael van Gerwen v Jules van Dongen
Gerwyn Price v David Cameron
Jonny Clayton v Danny Lauby

Saturday June 4
Afternoon Session (1300 EST)
bet365 North American Championship
Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals & Final. Best of 11 legs.

Evening Session (1900 EST)
bet365 US Darts Masters
Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals & Final. Best of 15 legs.

The bet365 North American Championship draw will be made on Thursday June 2.

—–ENDS——

Images: PDC

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